Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter Driving

Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter DrivingHave a mechanic check the following items on your car.
  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Wipers and windshield washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights
  • Flashing hazard lights
  • Exhaust system
  • Heater
  • Brakes
  • Defroster
  • Oil level (if necessary, replace existing oil with a winter grade oil or the SAE 10w/30 weight variety)

Install good winter tires.

Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.

Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.

Plan long trips carefully.

Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions. Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person.

If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation.

Dress warmly.

Wear layers of loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.

Carry food and water.

Store a supply of high energy "munchies" and several bottles of water.

Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on winter driving.

Winter Car Kit

Keep these items in your car:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries.
  • First aid kit with pocket knife.
  • Necessary medications.
  • Several blankets.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Oversized Full Length Down Parka.
  • Extra newspapers for insulation.
  • Plastic bags (for sanitation).
  • Matches.
  • Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap.
  • Rain gear and extra clothes.
  • Small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels.
  • Small shovel.
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver).
  • Booster cables.
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats.
  • Cards, games, and puzzles.
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag.
  • Canned fruit and nuts.
  • Non-electric can opener.
  • Bottled water.

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